The popular conception of divorce that most people hold prior to actually starting one is that the case will likely end up with both you and your spouse standing before a judge.
You each will have amassed a mountain of evidence to be able to utilize against one another and the judge will sit and evaluate each party’s evidence in an attempt to determine the “winner” of the divorce. Winner gets more time with the kids and more money and the loser gets the short end of the stick on both accounts.
With this belief in mind, it is no wonder why people wait and wait until a divorce is actually filed for in many instances. If this were the reality I could not blame a person for not wanting to start a case.
On the contrary to the above scenario, you are much more likely to finish your case by settling with your spouse rather than to go in front of a judge to have him or her do the same for you. One of the reasons why settlements occur with such frequency in Texas divorces is because of mediation. This will be the topic of today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan.
What we know about your divorce before it is even filed
There are some “givens” to your divorce case even if you haven’t even filed it yet. For one we know that you and your spouse are going to enter into the divorce attempting to arrive at a conclusion that represents each of your interests.
In a perfect world, that conclusion would be “fair”. What fair means to you probably is different than what fair means to me, your spouse or a family court. Judge. For that reason, our family law cases are based as much as possible on factual circumstances and evidence. The strength of your case lies not in what you believe to be fair or unfair, but in how effectively you and your attorney collect evidence and present it.
We’ve already discussed that the majority of the time you are presenting evidence it is to your spouse rather than a judge. It is only as a last resort that you would present evidence to a judge either in a temporary orders hearing or final trial. So no matter if your case settles before you ever see the inside of a courtroom you will be forced by the process and structure of a family law case to advocate your positions. Whether or not this advocacy extends to a courtroom is a different subject altogether.
The trouble with your divorce case is that before anyone ever knows if a settlement is possible or if a temporary orders hearing or trial is more likely, everything is set up for you to go to court. You are made to file an Original Petition for Divorce and possibly even a request for Temporary Orders hearing. Your spouse would counter with an Answer and a Counterpetition which states his or her own causes of action and reasons for the divorce. Before your attorneys have even had an opportunity to exchange pleasantries, the ground is set for conflict.
Mediation is an alternative to conflict
While nothing will remove all elements of conflict from your divorce, mediation is an alternative to the court system that is set up to address conflict that cannot be resolved. If a resolution is possible outside of court, then that resolution will likely come within the confines of a mediation session.
Where does mediation take place?
Mediation occurs typically at the office of a neutral, third-party family law attorney who is hired by both you and your spouse to help resolve your case.
Mediation can also occur through the county in which your divorce has been filed, though this is not as typical as proceeding with a private mediator.
Are we in the same room during mediation?
You and your spouse (along with your attorneys) will be put into separate rooms at the office of the mediator so as not to have to cross paths with one another.
I have been a part of mediations (through Montgomery County, for those interested) where the mediator has requested that we begin the process sitting face to face with one another. This has caused problems in that one spouse has done something, rolled their eyes, failed to acknowledge the other, etc., that has taken the mediation off track.
What happens during mediation?
A mediator acts like a ping pong ball, bouncing back in between your room and your spouse’s room in order to go through the outstanding issues of your case and to help each side to work out an agreement. Part of a mediator’s job is to assist both you and your spouse understand the strengths and weaknesses of your cases.
This is done in order to help determine if it is advantageous to proceed to court, or better to attempt to settle your case in mediation. Typically most people are better off attempting to settle, though your case can always present an exception to this rule.
There are financial considerations to make when mediating a case, as well as emotional aspects to doing so. As long as you realize the risk that is inherent in trying a case before a judge then you can always decide to do that if an agreement cannot be reached. However, with the assistance of a strong advocate, you can decipher what route offers you the best outcome for you and your family. Typically a creative, conscientious and intelligent mediator will help you to create an outcome that you would be well served to seriously consider accepting in order to end your divorce case.
Questions on divorce and mediation? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today
If you are considering a divorce, or have had divorce papers served upon you, please contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan to learn more about a divorce in Texas. Our office represents clients across southeast Texas and would be honored to do the same for you. We offer free of charge consultations with our licensed family law attorneys six days a week.
If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: “16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
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Other Articles you may be interested on regarding Houston Court Local Rules:
- Texas Family Law Courts: Mediation and Divorce Essentials
- Texas Family Law Courts: What to Expect
- Harris County, Texas Family Law Court - 245TH Judicial District Local Rules
- 247TH Judicial District Local Rules
- 246TH Judicial District Local Rules
- Harris County, Texas Family Law Court - 308TH Judicial District Local Rules
- Harris County, Texas Family Law Court - 257TH Judicial District Local Rules
- Why is Separate Property Important and How to Keep it Separate in a Texas Divorce?
- What Wikipedia Can’t Tell you About Texas Divorce and Marital Property Division
- Texas Divorce Property Division Enforcement
- Separate Property in a Texas Divorce?
- Does it Matter Whose Name is on Title or Deed of Property in a Divorce in Texas?
- Is Social Security Considered Separate Property in a Texas Divorce
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.